Sixty years ago this month, The Beatles landed in the United States for their first American performances and touched off a wave of hysteria across the country. To this day, the British band is regarded as one of the best in music history, and any artifacts related to the group can fetch a pretty penny.
If you’ve ever wanted to have all four Beatles’ signatures, now’s your chance. Moments In Time, an auction website specializing in autographs, is selling a piece of American Airlines-branded paper with signatures and well wishes from all four Beatles: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. It was given to Bess Coleman, who was working as a publicist for EMI Records at the time. The bidding starts at $100,000.
It’s not necessarily the signatures that are the big draw of this item, but the notes the band members wrote—specifically, Lennon and McCartney. McCartney referred to himself “Father James Paul McKenzie,” a reference to a lyric from The Beatles’ single “Eleanor Rigby.”
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Lennon’s signature is possibly an even bigger draw. He signed the note as St. John Leper, which poked fun at a controversial comment he made that eventually took The Beatles off the road for good. In a March 1966 interview, Lennon was quoted as saying “We’re more popular than Jesus” when asked about The Beatles’ worldwide fame. The quip led to tremendous backlash from Christian communities around the globe, even leading some radio stations in different countries to ban their records and stop playing their music altogether. The Beatles never toured again after the snafu.
If you have $100,000 to spare, this piece of history could be yours.